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S.M. Wolf Covers The Hoosier Hot Shots for IN Covers
Posted February 20, 2019 by Adam Gross
WRITTEN BY
Adam Gross
ON
February 20, 2019

Adam from S.M. Wolf here to tell you about this tune that wecovered for the IN Covers series and why we chose it. I Like Bananas Because They Have No Bones was written by someone named Chris J. Yacich but was widely popularized by a band called The Hoosier Hot Shots. In my opinion, the Hoosier Hot Shots are one of the best bands to come out of Indiana and it’s a shame that they’re not widely known. The 2 core members of the band, Ken and Hezzie Trietsch were raised on a farm in Arcadia, IN. They toured the vaudeville circuit playing in a family band with their dad in the 20s. When vaudeville croaked, they got jobs playing on the radio in Fort Wayne, where the Hoosier Hot Shots were born, and then in Chicago where they had a national radio show. They were in over 20 films with a-list actors and released a ton of 78s until their popularity faded sometime in the 50s.

Peep the tune: 

 

Their quirky, upbeat style is infectious and, though I don’t know how many songs they actually wrote themselves, their lyrics are generally pretty funny. I think the best part about the band is Hezzie though. Hezzie invented and played something he called the “Wabash Washboard” or the “Zither.” The zither was a washboard with random noise-makers attached to it. It had bike horns in different keys that he would play melodies with, different sized cowbells, woodblocks, and bike bells. He was also a top notch slide whistle player and used it to play counter melodies and harmonies along with the clarinet. Hezzie’s Zither is, I believe currently, in a collection at the Indiana State Museum.

I Like Bananas Because They Have No Bones is arguably the most popular song by the Hoosier Hot Shots. There are several versions, but here’s a good one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVN-uwgOe3E. It’s a solid silly tune that’ll brighten most dark days. There’s also a fun Robyn Hitchcok version of it which you can see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSM7zQGt-kc&fbclid=IwAR1CXAe9MBFlbn3wao2rV8ikXdRiR6UKIj8rHIvvVeOMukKwiJ5rI_4VxMY.

 

In the interest of not fixing that which isn’t broken, for our version we decided take a different interpretation and fuzz it up a little. Melanie played drums, Ben played bass, and Bryan, Adam Kuhn and I played guitar. For the solo at the end, I reached down deep into my soul and pulled out the best Hezzie slide whistling I could manage. Hope ya like it!

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